Slurred Speech

I’ve been slurring my speech and/or talking slowly with increasing frequency lately. It’s pretty embarrassing and is really bothering me. I’ve always stuttered a bit in my speech due to anxiety issues, but slurred speech has never been a problem until this nightmare flare started in July. It’s been getting worse, and I’m so frustrated that I can’t articulate myself well around others. It makes me want to go hide under a rock. Does anyone else deal with slurred and slowed speech? Is there anything you can do to combat it?

What exactly is the root cause? I’ve read that it can be caused by inflammation in the cervical spine, but I don’t feel any pain in my neck or suspect inflammation there. I do, however, have a fair amount of pain in my jaw. I’ve been dealing with TMJD for about 8 years (finally connecting the dots and thinking it’s PsA related and might actually be my first joint affected by PsA) and my jaw is becoming increasingly painful to move. I now have pain every time I chew food or yawn; it’s not unbearable pain but it’s noticeable and sometimes my jaw locks up completely. I’m wondering if inflammation in my jaw could be contributing to slurred and slow speech. I don’t usually have jaw pain when talking though, and it feels like the root cause is more neurological than mechanical if that makes sense.

I stutter and have trouble finding words… do you know about brain fog? Maybe Google that and see if it fits?

No slurring though… did you talk to your doctor about that? They might want to rule out some things…


Hi Weasel… I can’t say I have experienced what you are describing here, but definitely would suggest running it past your Doc (if you haven’t already), the slurring would suggest neurological to me too, not that I’m qualified at all. I am wondering though if maybe the slurring etc could be from “stiffness” in your jaw, and from trying (subconsciously) to protect your joints there, if it is from PsA or similar… just a thought, and I could be well off base, would definitely get it checked out though!

With PsA, I have had slow speech, including finding it hard to put a sentence together (and reaching for more complicated or less used words, like onomatopoeia). Pretty typical brain fog - cognitive functions, including the ability to put a sentence together, seem to slow down, though I’ve not experienced slurring and can’t recall anybody reporting it as a part of brain fog.

Separately to this, I have had slurred and slow speech, and ‘reaching’ for simple words (not being able to locate a correct, but very simple word, such as hot, and not even being able to provide an alternative word, almost like the concept is missing). This was also accompanied by balance and coordination issues, and tingling in my feet and legs, and occasionally hands. In addition, there was extreme fatigue, not the same as PsA flare fatigue (usually severe fatigue with a big PsA flare means I’m always tired, but it’s hard to sleep because I’m in too much pain - in this case, no real joint flare - except sometimes in my neck, but I could sleep solidly 11 hours overnight and another 3 during the day). The Rheumatologist thought this was neurological. I had two episodes lasting 2-3 months every 6 months or so.

My vitamin B was marginal, so I started taking supplements in case it was related. There was no quick response, although the episodes did not recur when they were due this last October, and fingers crossed, it still has not returned. Probably a coincidence, but I’ll keep taking them.

Thanks for the responses, everyone. I don’t think the slurring is related to brain fog. I have my moments with that–mostly not recognizing some simple words when I read them. I think it could be me subconsciously protecting my jaw joints, but I didn’t experience slurred speech until last fall for the first time despite having had jaw pain before then. My first episode with slurred speech also corresponded to taking Mobic, so I’ve chalked it up to that (and Mobic still seems to have strange cognitive effects on my when I take it).

I’ve been having other neurological things going on in the past month too. Every once in a while I get pins and needles in my forearms, calves, and the back side of my head/neck. I also get intense itching feelings as if I’m breaking out in hives but there’s nothing there.

My doctor asked me the other month if I ever slurred my speech or had slow speech, and I told her yes, but we haven’t really looked into it further or brought it up since. I want to bring it up again, but I feel like I’ve been bothering her with this and that so often that I’m afraid she thinks I’m just a hypochondriac.

@Jen75, did your rheumatologist think your episodes were related to PsA, or something else? I hope the vitamins keep it at bay. My metabolic panels always come back normal, so I don’t think it’s vitamin a deficiency in my case.

My Rheumy was adamant mine was something completely separate to PsA. The first major symptoms were chronic headaches and falling asleep just about anywhere, so I went off for a sleep study, then as other symptoms popped up and became a pattern, was given a referral to a neurologist (postponed unless it comes back).

The vitamin B is a tricky one - if you are high in iron for example (that’s me), the initial screen they do will overestimate your B12, and only if they do a follow up measurement will you get an accurate idea.

I’m still pretty sceptical mine was just from vitamin B though, I wasn’t even technically out of normal range (just sitting right on the boundary). Thing is, life would be so much simpler if it is just vitamin B, so I am hopeful :grinning:

When I had my initial flare up I was slurring my speech, had extreme fatigue with my disturbed sleep patterns and used to loose track of conversations I was in. It was probably like someone with dementia or thats how I felt. I lost complete words out of my mental dictionary and felt I was describing the words I wanted like some kind of childs game. I did some research and with advice from my Bowen Technique practitioner was pushed to ask the doctors for a Vitamin D3 25 hydroxy test. I tested borderline deficient. On to Amazon I went and ordered 5000ui Vit D3. I took this level for 3 months and felt better and clearer from the first week with a steady improvement from there on in, I now have reduced to 2000ui tablets a day and will continue as long as I need to. I notice a difference if I forget to take them ans it slowly creeps back.

Sorry… I feel the need to play tough mother here for a quick a minute :blush:

Never, and I do mean NEVER, let yourself feel this way, when you are paying a doctor to do their job and take care of your health issues, how can you possibly expect them to come up with answers to a medical mystery if you are only giving them half of the story… tell them EVERYTHING, they are qualified to decide what is and isn’t relevant. Would you feel confident coming up with some impressive, groundbreaking, scientific theory only to find later that you were working off only half of the data you really needed to formulate that theory and had therefore got it completely wrong?

Right, serious telling off is now complete :blush: :laughing:

I know I have been guilty of exactly the same thing and have only recently come to an understanding that I actually have absolutely no idea of how important something might or might not be… case in point, a few months ago I mentioned my croaky voice to my GP, not thinking anything about it really, just asked if it may be from the PsA and was very surprised when he said “if it doesn’t clear up in a couple of weeks we’ll send you off to ENT to have it checked out properly”… I kinda thought that seemed pretty excessive for a simple croaky voice, so did a little Dr Google only to find that it is common practice to get a croaky voice checked out properly and promptly for throat cancer… fortunately it turned out to be nothing serious, however it may have been far more serious than I would have ever dreamed a simple croaky voice could be…

If you have something going on your in body that you don’t already have an answer for you should have full confidence in being able to ask your doc about it, and if it may be relevant to anything, that’s what you are paying them for :wink:

1 Like

You know @Weasel, @janson is just spot on. She really is. 1. You’re not a hypochrondriac, you’re suffering from one helluva chronic disease, 2. They are truly only just starting to understand what this disease does to its sufferers and indeed can do. So please make sure you tell your doctors everything. Hugs.

1 Like

In addition to my PsA, I have Lectin Intolerance which is a condition related to autoimmune disorders. Lectin is a protein found in vegetables. Whenever I eat things high in lectin such as wheat, I have more trouble with brain fog, my ears ring more, speech issues, etc. You may have this insensitivity also as many autoimmune patients do. The Father of Immunology was the first person to document it in about 1888. While I’m not sure about inflammation in your spine, most autoimmune sufferers have inflammation in the brain which contributes to brain fog. I suggests you read THE LECTIN REPORT which is online and modify your diet to reduce some of your sxs.